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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Direct seeding with uncoated seeds

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Sylvain, It s good to hear this kind of practical advice on what works for you in Quebec. Planting mustard, turnip, and radish has always been similiarly
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 21, 2006
      Hi Sylvain,

      It's good to hear this kind of practical advice on what works for you in Quebec. Planting mustard, turnip, and radish has always been similiarly easy for me in South Louisiana. Clover is less certain because it sometimes "takes" and sometimes doesn't. Rye grows with almost ridiculous ease, forming thick sods of grass that you can turn over as if they were grassy tiles.

      Buckwheat grows down here no matter how you plant it unless you put it in seedballs, and then it, like your encased buckwheat, never seems to come up.(So much for the supposed universality of seedballs.) Birds don't bother any of the unprotected seeds in my garden, and "naked" buckwheat seeds are certainly big enough for them to see.

      Your Vasage technique shows how important timing is in planting anything; plant these seeds after the soil is wet and they sprout; plant when it is not wet and maybe they just go dormant waiting for rain. Your metaphor about the frost thawing and heaving reminds me of Thoreau's description of his pond thawing in Walden; down here though, the frost, when it occurs, is too thin to heave or boom or do anything but quietly melt and drip away. Are clover and poppy a fairly common green manure mix up there or is that your discovery? I am much too clumsy to press seeds Bonfils style into the soil with my heel; the little hand dibble is best for me

      Incidentally, there are some low-priced hand seeders that work pretty well. I've used the one from Johnny's Seeds (item 9136) http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/subcategory.aspx?category=292&subcategory=325 Fukuoka's seeder design is unknown to me (except for his mentioning it in passing)

      Bob Monie


      Sylvain Picker <sylvain.picker@...> wrote:
      With small seeds (mustard, turnip, clover, etc.), there are some seasons
      where we can sow them sucesfully by just scattering them on soil surface.
      I can only talk about what farmer do here in Quebec, Canada and my own
      experience. Here this is called "VASAGE" in french. Vasage means something
      like sowing in the wet mud. This is done to renew pastures mainly. It
      consist of broadcasting the seeds (small seeds as it does not work with big
      seeds) directly over fields Very Late in autum or Very Early in spring. The
      action of frost, thawing and heaving, and the rain will bury the seed.

      I have planted turnips (the white and purple variety) that way with great
      succes many years. It does not matter if it snows after seeding. It was done
      on open and compacted soil.

      I also had very good succes with mixtures of clover and poppy (I like to use
      poppy as green manure because it is a very good weed supressant like
      buckwheat), radish, kale, and many others. I stress that I only had succes
      on open soil either nude or with a THIN mulch.

      I think that you can sow any small seeds just before a rain (or a few days
      before). Small seeds are hard for bird to spot and I never had any problems
      with bird eating the small seeds, and I tried this method a lot of times. Do
      not do that method too late in summer or your seeds will only roast under
      the sun though.

      For big seeds I suggest to sow them on the surface but to press them in the
      soil with the heel of you foot (like Bonfils when he plant wheat), or to use
      a heavy roller. It work at least with pea and buckwheat. I had a failure
      with buckwheat in seedballs planted in a hay field by the way.
      I think Marc Bonfils has some answers to this. I have his original papers in
      french. I will try to do a translation and put it on my web site.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Johannes Tax
      On [Wed, 22.11.2006 11:19], Johannes Tax wrote: Hello Sylvain, ... This paragraph catched my attention, because for next spring I planned to do exactly what
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 22, 2006
        On [Wed, 22.11.2006 11:19], Johannes Tax wrote:
        Hello Sylvain,

        On [Tue, 21.11.2006 14:17], Sylvain Picker wrote:
        > For big seeds I suggest to sow them on the surface but to press them in the
        > soil with the heel of you foot (like Bonfils when he plant wheat), or to use
        > a heavy roller. It work at least with pea and buckwheat. I had a failure
        > with buckwheat in seedballs planted in a hay field by the way.
        > I think Marc Bonfils has some answers to this. I have his original papers in
        > french. I will try to do a translation and put it on my web site.

        This paragraph catched my attention, because for next spring I planned
        to do exactly what you wrote about: planting buckwheat in seedballs on
        a meadow.
        Could you please describe your failure? Did the buckwheat not sprout?

        Last year I thickly mulched a part of a meadow, this may, when it's time
        to sow buckwheat here, it was thickly covered with nettle. I cut the
        nettle and pressed the buckwheat seeds into the soil, between 10 and 15
        seeds per square metre. Of course nettle came up again, and I ended with
        three to five buckwheat plants per square metre, the rest of the ground
        covered with nettle. As the buckwheat plants were small, I had to cut
        the nettle several times again. Finally I had quite a good harvest.
        For the next year I planned to shave a greater part of a meadow, scatter
        buckwheat in seedballs and mulch the grass, so I would be very
        interested in your experiences.

        Furthermore I would be very interested in any documents by Marc Bonfils,
        French is no problem, do you know where I could obtain them? I tried
        with Las Encantadas some time ago, but I just managed to get "Le sol et
        l'erosion" and books about arbres fruitiers and apiculture. I would
        be very thankful for any hints.

        By the way, you mentioned buckwheat and peas. I've no experiences with
        this combination, but here it was formerly very common to plant oat in
        company with peas. They do very well together and I think it is a good
        combination for enriching the soil too.

        Thanks very much in advance,

        Johannes Tax
        jo.ey@...
      • Niels Corfield
        Johannes, Sounds good. I have similar experience with nettle covered fields. As for germination rates: I would increase the amount of seed used, perhaps
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 22, 2006
          Johannes,

          Sounds good.
          I have similar experience with nettle covered fields.
          As for germination rates: I would increase the amount of seed used,
          perhaps doubled or more.
          Like to know what the vegetative cover is looking like now, after your
          buckwheat and mowing.
          Do you have some images?

          In our situation where there was nettle grass has become the dominant
          cover after mowing.
          Check out the links below for images of the space, before and after.

          BTW, how are you mowing your field?

          Cheers,
          Niels

          My Bookmarks:
          http://del.icio.us/entrailer

          My Pics and Projects:
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/nielscorfield/
          http://picasaweb.google.com/mudguard

          Groups I Contribute to:
          http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/polyculturepeople/
          http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/leeds_permaculture_network/?yguid=243022692
          http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/scythe

          Swillington Permaculture Forest Garden Project -Aerial Image (Now Quite Old):
          http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=LS26+8QA&ie=UTF8&z=19&ll=53.760874,-1.428051&spn=0.000943,0.00339&t=k&om=1



          Johannes Tax wrote:
          >
          > On [Wed, 22.11.2006 11:19], Johannes Tax wrote:
          > Hello Sylvain,
          >
          > On [Tue, 21.11.2006 14:17], Sylvain Picker wrote:
          > > For big seeds I suggest to sow them on the surface but to press them
          > in the
          > > soil with the heel of you foot (like Bonfils when he plant wheat),
          > or to use
          > > a heavy roller. It work at least with pea and buckwheat. I had a failure
          > > with buckwheat in seedballs planted in a hay field by the way.
          > > I think Marc Bonfils has some answers to this. I have his original
          > papers in
          > > french. I will try to do a translation and put it on my web site.
          >
          > This paragraph catched my attention, because for next spring I planned
          > to do exactly what you wrote about: planting buckwheat in seedballs on
          > a meadow.
          > Could you please describe your failure? Did the buckwheat not sprout?
          >
          > Last year I thickly mulched a part of a meadow, this may, when it's time
          > to sow buckwheat here, it was thickly covered with nettle. I cut the
          > nettle and pressed the buckwheat seeds into the soil, between 10 and 15
          > seeds per square metre. Of course nettle came up again, and I ended with
          > three to five buckwheat plants per square metre, the rest of the ground
          > covered with nettle. As the buckwheat plants were small, I had to cut
          > the nettle several times again. Finally I had quite a good harvest.
          > For the next year I planned to shave a greater part of a meadow, scatter
          > buckwheat in seedballs and mulch the grass, so I would be very
          > interested in your experiences.
          >
          > Furthermore I would be very interested in any documents by Marc Bonfils,
          > French is no problem, do you know where I could obtain them? I tried
          > with Las Encantadas some time ago, but I just managed to get "Le sol et
          > l'erosion" and books about arbres fruitiers and apiculture. I would
          > be very thankful for any hints.
          >
          > By the way, you mentioned buckwheat and peas. I've no experiences with
          > this combination, but here it was formerly very common to plant oat in
          > company with peas. They do very well together and I think it is a good
          > combination for enriching the soil too.
          >
          > Thanks very much in advance,
          >
          > Johannes Tax
          > jo.ey@... <mailto:jo.ey%40gmx.at>
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Matthew Bond
          Was it perennial or annual nettle? Perennial nettle is an important part of biodynamic composts :) In fact they say if you don t add the preparations, the
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 22, 2006
            Was it perennial or annual nettle? Perennial nettle is an important
            part of biodynamic composts :) In fact they say if you don't add the
            preparations, the difference is analogous to leavened and unleavened
            bread.

            www.demeter.at might be able to give you an insight into what this
            might indicate from their perspective.

            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Johannes Tax <jo.ey@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > On [Wed, 22.11.2006 11:19], Johannes Tax wrote:
            > Hello Sylvain,
            >
            > On [Tue, 21.11.2006 14:17], Sylvain Picker wrote:
            > > For big seeds I suggest to sow them on the surface but to
            press them in the
            > > soil with the heel of you foot (like Bonfils when he plant
            wheat), or to use
            > > a heavy roller. It work at least with pea and buckwheat. I had
            a failure
            > > with buckwheat in seedballs planted in a hay field by the
            way.
            > > I think Marc Bonfils has some answers to this. I have his
            original papers in
            > > french. I will try to do a translation and put it on my web
            site.
            >
            > This paragraph catched my attention, because for next spring I
            planned
            > to do exactly what you wrote about: planting buckwheat in
            seedballs on
            > a meadow.
            > Could you please describe your failure? Did the buckwheat not
            sprout?
            >
            > Last year I thickly mulched a part of a meadow, this may, when
            it's time
            > to sow buckwheat here, it was thickly covered with nettle. I cut
            the
            > nettle and pressed the buckwheat seeds into the soil, between 10
            and 15
            > seeds per square metre. Of course nettle came up again, and I
            ended with
            > three to five buckwheat plants per square metre, the rest of the
            ground
            > covered with nettle. As the buckwheat plants were small, I had
            to cut
            > the nettle several times again. Finally I had quite a good
            harvest.
            > For the next year I planned to shave a greater part of a meadow,
            scatter
            > buckwheat in seedballs and mulch the grass, so I would be very
            > interested in your experiences.
            >
            > Furthermore I would be very interested in any documents by Marc
            Bonfils,
            > French is no problem, do you know where I could obtain them? I
            tried
            > with Las Encantadas some time ago, but I just managed to get "Le
            sol et
            > l'erosion" and books about arbres fruitiers and apiculture. I
            would
            > be very thankful for any hints.
            >
            > By the way, you mentioned buckwheat and peas. I've no
            experiences with
            > this combination, but here it was formerly very common to plant
            oat in
            > company with peas. They do very well together and I think it is
            a good
            > combination for enriching the soil too.
            >
            > Thanks very much in advance,
            >
            > Johannes Tax
            > jo.ey@...
            >
          • Sylvain Picker
            Thank you all for the wonderful discussions. I mentioned clover and poppy as a green manure crop. It is not used at all in Québec. It is a mix I readed about
            Message 5 of 7 , Nov 22, 2006
              Thank you all for the wonderful discussions. I mentioned clover and poppy as
              a green manure crop. It is not used at all in Québec. It is a mix I readed
              about some years ago. It seems to be used in the netherlands and to be quite
              common there, used alone like buckwheat to kill weeds and to produce oil
              with the poppy seed crop.
              The "Bonfils" document copies I have came years ago from the "Ecological
              Agriculture Project" of the MacDonald college in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Qc,
              Canada.
              http://www.eap.mcgill.ca/
              They may still be availables but I went directly to their office to make
              photocopies 10 years ago.
              For my failure with buckweat in seedballs: it was one of my very early
              experiments. The buckweat seeds sprouted but never took root. There where
              sowed in an uncultivated hay field, I do not remember exactly the details,
              this was done 19 years ago.


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Sylvain Picker
              I uploaded on my website a big photo of a drawing explaining the difference between Natural wheat growing and chemical wheat growing. This drawing come from
              Message 6 of 7 , Nov 23, 2006
                I uploaded on my website a big photo of a drawing explaining the difference
                between Natural wheat growing and chemical wheat growing. This drawing come
                from the Encantadas "la Garrigue Farm" in France.
                www.gaiavox.com To get to the picture just click on the NEW button

                Thanks for all the wonderful feedbacks

                Sylvain Picker


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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